"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cannelle Patisserie - April 17, 2011

“Consistent, Affordable and Exquisite” is the tripartite motto of Cannelle Patisserie, and which I whole-heartedly embrace and uphold. In order to live by such a motto, I am willing to sacrifice my personal property – a pair of new shoes – and bleed my own red blood – in the form of blisters – and start a revolution.

Starting with affordability, Cannelle truly cares about the equality of his patrons; compared to the aptly named, blue-blooded Lady M, their cakes are equally and fraternally available to all comers, provided that if one is willing to venture out into the middle of nowhere – a strip mall.


Consistency I cannot speak for, except for the pate à croissant, as used in the regular butter croissant and the almond. Roughly speaking, a pate à croissant is 25% butter (at least, according to Le Cordon Bleu); conversely, it is 50% flour. Therefore, the qualities of the butter and the flour are essential and critical; in other words, they are necessary conditions - not sufficient (because “skill” is another necessary condition), for example) - for the croissant to be delicious. Of these two conditions, most bakeries – i.e. Ceci-Cela and Payard - fail most miserably on one necessary condition in particular: the butter (preferably and ideally cultured).*

*On the other hand, Claude had failed on skill (I cannot comment on pre-departure of Monsieur Cladue) for its over-baking and the density of the inner layers (my mandibles are quite over-worked as they are).

Although Cannelle’s croissants would not win any beauty pageant, the relatively light-skinned crescents demonstrated ample layering to pass the first round of elimination. The thin-skinned outer layer did not give out the satisfactory shatter; and, each inner layer was airy with cavernous hollows in-between. Consistent with this light approach, the croissants did not ooze butter as the one at Claude, but a subtle sweetness was released as the dough got warmed in the mouth. This pleasant croissant for the masses, I am sure, would fit right in on the shelves of supermarkets in France; even those mass, factory-produced ones in France are often better than what a lot of money can buy in New York.

Almond Croissant

Is it the affordability that is hindering Cannelle from achieving exquisiteness? The cookie layer was meagerly thin; while the almond paste, if one could call it that, was utterly flavorless, being entirely devoid of the delightful gritty nuttiness; instead, it suspiciously had the consistency of creeping corn starch.

Creole - Chocolate sponge cake, white & dark chocolate mousse, coffee syrup, thin layers of chocolate

The exquisite façade of the chocolate mousse cake was deceptive; it was marred by the viscous and vile coffee syrup glaçage, which tasted as sugary and plebian as Hershy’s chocolate syrup. The cake was technically well-executed, which Marie Antoinette would have approved; however, the ingredients must have not have come from the Petite Trianon. The dark chocolate mouse lacked the advertised "dark"-ness, which was milky and watery at most. The saving grace was the paper-thin chocolate rectangles, adoring the cake like a fence; due to excellent tempering technique, it surrendered immediately upon being contacted by the warmth of my tongue like a snowflake.


Ever consistent with the light approach, the coffee was thin.

Let us not guillotine Lady M. I am going to show some support for the nobility by taking myself over to Lady M.

Cannelle PatisserieAddress: 75-59 31st Ave, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY 11370
Phone: (718) 565-6200


  1. That croissant looks beautiful and almost unbelievably airy for a croissant. Love the cross-section view.

    Re: Patisserie Claude, you HAVE to eat the croissants straight out of the oven or at most within an hour. The half life is very short.

    For almond croissants, La Bergamote is very good, though I've noticed an unfortunate trend towards overbaking, lately. They always seem slightly burnt. Try to get the counterperson to give you one that's a little less brown.

  2. I tried La Bergamote's croissant last year. I remember it being cold and unpleasant: there was no shatter to speak of and insignificant layering inside...

    As for Claude, I think the problems are primarily over-baking and, more fundamentally, the quality of ingredients. The technique is decent but unlikely to improve (I have tried the croissant twice recently with only a few days apart).